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In India, parents are not so open when it comes to praising. They are concerned that too much praising will spoil the child. For example, if you praise your kids excessively and put them on a pedestal at an early age it can backfire.
However, praising your kids effectively will not only boost their self confidence but also improve and strengthen your bond with them.
What is Effective Praise?
Lets assume for a moment, the following two scenarios :
Scenario 1 : “Reema, this painting is good but look at how riya has used so many colours in her painting.”
Scenario 2 : “Riya, your painting is filled with all the colours from the crayon box because you are sitting next to it.”
In both the scenarios, they are being praised but not effectively. Comparing your child with their peers is not effective praising. Giving credit to the child by saying that the task was easy is also an example of ineffective praising.
Now take into account these scenarios :
Scenario 3 : “Reema, you have done so much more painting on your page than last time.”
Scenario 4: “Riya you love colouring and it shows in your painting. It's very colourful and you have used all the colours from the box.
Comparing your child's work from his past experience and appreciating efforts put for the success of a task are examples of effective praising.
How to praise effectively?
Factors such as age and abilities should be taken into affect while praising.
1. Be honest : Children are lovers of honesty. They can sense when you are not being genuine. Don't boost about your child's achievements in front of others by exaggerating your child's achievements only to make yourself look good in front of others.
2. Acknowledge : Start with the little things and acknowledge his good gestures and right decisions. Even if its a very small task. This will boost his confidence and motivate him to try different tasks the next time. If however his efforts go unnoticed, he will feel under valued and discouraged.
3. Appreciate : Don't be general with your praise. Be more specific as to what you liked about his efforts. For example : if your kid has finished his homework on time, don't just say “Good job”. Tell him “Its good how you could finish your homework so early. You are doing well.”
4. Respond positively : If your kid doesn't do his homework the other day, instead of yelling or punishing him respond like this, “Since you had done your homework yesterday, I am letting you go this time. But I trust you won't do this again”
5. Reward : Its important to instill positive behaviour in your kid and rewarding is the best way to do that. “You worked so hard on this project and did such a wonderful job with it, I am going to buy you this video game. Trusting you won't get carried away with it and do just as well the next time.”
Key points to remember :
Praising children will motivate them to do better in their task and also make them better individuals.